Submitted by Thurston County

It’s National Public Health Week! We are celebrating this week by sharing more about the work that Thurston County Public Health & Social Services (PHSS) staff do as a part of local public health work. Today we are going to highlight the work of the Food Safety Program.

Photo courtesy: Thurston County.

The Food Safety Program offers a several programs including food worker instruction and testing, restaurant inspections, and food plan reviews for new food service establishments. They also do inspections of food at community events (like LakeFair or the Thurston County Fair).

With the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Food Safety team has spent the last few weeks working with retailers that are still open, like convenience stores and grocery stores, to help them manage social distancing requirements. This helps employees and the public stay safe. The Food Safety team is also performing routine inspections to make sure your take-out food and groceries are as safe as they are delicious.

Because we all eat and we will all need to do some grocery shopping at some point, what precautions can we take to stay safe?

  • For shopping, only make the trips you really need to make. The less you interact with large groups of people, the better.
  • When going out to shop, consider wearing a cloth face covering. Whether you wear a mask or not, you need to maintain a proper social distance, 6 feet away, from others.
  • Wash your hands! You should always wash your hands before you prepare food and before you eat. This is basic advice that has not changed. Now is the time to become an expert hand washer! The 20 second rule – wash for 20 seconds – is important.
  • Use good food preparation guidelines. This is great advice every day of the year!
  • No need to disinfect your groceries, but follow the food prep guidelines above.

Every day, pandemic or not, this team is working with partners in the community to keep Thurston County healthy and safe.  Keep up the good work Thurston County!

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